The Safest Place in All the World to Be

The Safest Place in All the World to Be

Matthew 4:18-25

James C. Denison

A “conundrum” is an intricate and difficult problem. For instance, what 11-letter word is pronounced incorrectly by more than 99 percent of Ivy League graduates? “Incorrectly.” Care to try again? I’m sitting at a table. Ten flies are on the table. With one swat, I kill three flies. How many flies are left on the table? The three dead ones–the other seven already flew away. Now aren’t you glad you came to church today?

We’ve been studying biblical images of the church, the world’s only hope. Last week we learned that we are the only salt and light of our decaying, dark world. Today we learn that we are called to be “fishers of men” in that world. I’m interested in what Jesus calls us to do. But I’m even more interested in the fact that he calls us to do it, that great theological conundrum of divine sovereignty and human freedom.

If he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, why does he need to call these men? Why cannot he order them to follow him? Do they have freedom to decide whether or not to follow him? If they can refuse his will for their lives, how is he the Sovereign Lord of the universe?